Discretion and luxury hotels should always go hand in hand

The Sybaritic Single expects his butler, concierge and maître d’hôtel to exercise the level of discretion which would acknowledge him in a way that only a very, very few would notice.

He enjoys raspberries with his Champagne and appreciates them being served without a pompous emcee announcement (Hôtel Ritz Paris, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo and Bulgari Resort Dubai have mastered this art). He also expects his hotels to know his name but not call it out proud and loud at every turn throughout his stay.

The same applies to airport limousines. There is barely anything less private than a long line of hotel chauffeurs in the arrivals hall, each holding a full name of their guest printed in a large font (sometimes, even with a flight number). On a couple of occasions, it did cause a bit of embarrassment and odd encounters when someone else, who happened to be arriving at the same time, realised that the Sybaritic Single was there as well – and also instantly got to know where he was staying. Totally unnecessary.

A simple hotel logo board, without printed names, is sufficient. The Sybaritic Single also, ideally, expects the chauffeur to have his picture at hand to pick him from the jolly crowd – by now, many luxury hotels employ full-time social media guest relations experts who take the time to quietly research their guests and preferences well in advance. Such level of discretion, acknowledgement and attention to detail is, indeed, true luxury.

Sybaritic Single, who has been writing under this nom de plume for some years, is in fact Dubai-based Oleg Kafarov. As well as touring lesser-known parts of Cuba by bicycle and spending a recent New Year at Kabul’s best hotel – always with his beloved OK-initialled Louis Vuitton valise to hand – he knows all the world’s so-called top luxury hotel.  He has a monthly column in Condé Nast Traveller olegkafarov@

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